March 25, 2020
There have been devastating numbers of job losses in the region as a result of Pennsylvania and New Jersey ordering all non-essential businesses to close to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Nationwide, the number of people making initial claims for unemployment benefits spiked to a staggering 3.28 million during the week ending March 21, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday morning. The prior week, 282,000 people had made claims. That is five times more people applying for unemployment than did during the lowest depths of the Great Recession.
Nearly 379,000 Pennsylvanians filed for unemployment benefits last week, compared to 15,439 the week before, the Labor Department said.
On March 16 – the first Monday after restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic began to be implemented – 15,000 claims were made in New Jersey in a single day, Gov. Phil Murphy said – compare that to 9,500 initial claims the entire week before. More than 155,454 New Jersey residents filed for unemployment during the week ending March 21, according to the Labor Department. That's 16 times more than previous, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Whether this looming economic calamity is temporary or not – whatever temporary even means at this point – people are are hurting. They need jobs and incomes during this health crisis.
Fortunately, there are employment opportunities out there.
Large companies, such as CVS, Walmart, Amazon, Dollar General, 7-Eleven, and Pizza Hut have announced they are hiring in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, as many of these businesses have been deemed essential and are able to stay open.
The governments in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia's leaders are providing resources to connect people looking for employment with jobs.
Below are links to job resources aggregated by government officials, as well as information about how to apply for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Additionally, if your company is hiring, email that information to PhillyVoice. We want to add to the resources below with a list of businesses with job openings that are being immediately filled. In the email, please type "We're Hiring" in the subject line, and in the body include your company's name, the job description, the primary location of the job and a link PhillyVoice readers can use to apply.
City Council has put together a list of essential businesses that are hiring in the Philadelphia region during the pandemic. Among those companies included are Amazon, Acme, UPS, Giant, ShopRite, and Walgreens. View the complete list here, which will be updated regularly. Here is a sample of the open positions:
• ACME: Front end AM manager at Northern Liberties store
• SHOPRITE: There are 13 locations in Philadelphia hiring. At the Port Richmond store, alone, 25 job openings are listed; among them are deli clerk, cashier, floral clerk, maintenance and store detective.
• WALGREENS: Shift lead at Center City store at 1 S. Broad St.
The state's job bank, CareerLink, lists over 188,000 job openings across the commonwealth right now. Of that, over 29,000 jobs are currently available in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. Some notable companies hiring across the state include McDonald's, AutoZone, and PNC Bank. Below are some jobs from CareerLink.
• AMAZON: Delivery associate driver in Langhorne, Bucks County ($16/hour)
• KINDERCARE: Lead teacher in Exton, Chester County
• MAIN LINE HEALTH: Risk assessment coordinator in Wynnewood, Montgomery County
• SHERWIN-WILLIAMS: Sales associate in Brookhaven, Delaware County
New Jersey has created a special jobs bank for the coronavirus outbreak with openings across the state. Some of the companies hiring in South Jersey right now include Heritage's Grocery Stores, Bancroft, and Price-Rite. Here are just a few of the jobs listed on the site:
• AMAZON: Hiring 3,400 warehouse team members in Bellmawr, Burlington, Cherry Hill, Marlton, West Deptford and other locations ($17/hour)
• BANCOFT: Direct support professionals, multiple openings at Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel, Vorhees, Swedesboro and other locations ($12-$18/hour)
• SPRING HILLS SENIOR COMMUNITIES: Hiring 80 certified nursing assistants at Cherry Hill, Princeton and other locations.
• 151 FOODS: Hiring production, packaging and sanitation workers and maintenance mechanics, 65 total openings, in Bellmawr. ($11-$22.45/hour, depending on position)
• WAWA: Hiring 1,020 customer service associates at stores throughout New Jersey ($11.50-$14.50/hour plus temporary wage increase during COVID-19 response)
• GRAHAM PACKAGING: Hiring for many manufacturing positions in Pennsylvania (Bradford, Emigsville, Lancaster and York) and Delaware (Newark).
The Department of Labor and Industry is offering unemployment and workers' compensation benefits to all full-time and part-time workers who experience loss, including temporary loss, of their jobs due to COVID-19.
Workers may be eligible for unemployment compensation if their employer temporarily closed or went out of business, or if their hours were reduced, according to the Department of Labor. They also may be eligible if they needed to quarantine or self-isolate, or if their employer instructed them to avoid work due to fear that they could spread the virus.
For full-time employees, unemployment benefits cover 50% of their weekly gross income. Additionally, anyone who was exposed to COVID-19 at work may be eligible for worker's compensation. Those who needs to file for unemployment or workers' compensation benefits in Pennsylvania can visit the department's website for filing instructions.
New Jersey also is providing financial relief through the state's earned sick leave law — which covers public health emergencies. Residents are eligible if the person's workplace or their child's school or daycare closed due to the pandemic. They also are eligible if a quarantine is recommended by health officials or if they need to take care of themselves or a family member.
These benefits are applicable to full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers. Employees can earn up to 40 hours of sick leave a year — or 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Any New Jersey workers needing to file for sick leave should contact their employer.
Delaware's Division of Unemployment Insurance is making compensation available to all individuals who have lost their jobs or if their places of work have shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. Employees working reduced hours as a result of COVID-19 also are eligible for unemployment benefits and must report their gross wages when they are earned. The state also said that it is not making any distinction between full-time and part-time employees who are unemployed. Work search requirements have been waived by the state for those receiving unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This story will be updated with new job listings and information. Please check back. Businesses can email their job openings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include "We're Hiring" in the subject line.